By Edwin Fernandez

ARRESTED. Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (CIDG-BARMM) arrested Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) sub-leader Jovy Sanguila (seated) during a law enforcement operation in Marawi City on Saturday (June 8, 2024). The suspect has a standing arrest warrant for multiple charges issued by a local court in Iligan City in connection with the 2008 attacks in Lanao del Norte province. (Photo courtesy of CIDG-BARMM)

CAMP S.K. PENDATUN, Maguindanao Norte – Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested in Marawi City over the weekend a wanted member of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) linked to the 2008 attacks in Lanao del Norte that killed an Army officer and several other soldiers and civilians.

Brig. Gen. Prexy Tanggawohn, police director for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), identified the MILF leader as Jovy Sanguila, who has a PHP1.3 million reward for his arrest on multiple murder charges. The suspect has a warrant of arrest issued by the Iligan City court.

Tanggawohn described Sanguila as a “skilled” gunsmith and sub-leader of the MILF 102nd Guerrilla Base Command.

In a report, Lt. Colonel Ariel Huesca, chief of the CIDG-BARMM, said police units implemented the Oplan Pagtugis against Sanguila at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday in Barangay Tuca, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

Huesca said Sanguila had been a primary target due to his involvement in the 2008 Lanao del Norte attacks, which resulted in the deaths of several civilians and military personnel, including Army Lt. Col. Angelo Benitez.

“Sanguila remained a highly sought-after fugitive because he orchestrated strategic operations for the group,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a separate 3 p.m. operation on the same day, CIDG-BARMM personnel also arrested two gunrunners in Malabang town of Lanao del Sur.

Seized from suspects Jamel Cabila Musor and Pananggi Sarip Ampuan during an entrapment operation along the national highway in Barangay Sarang of Malabang were two M14 rifles and an M16 rifle.

Charges were filed against the suspects for violating Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act. (PNA)